Ectropion and entropion are two conditions whereby the eyelid (most commonly the lower eyelid) is not in its normal anatomic position in its usual relationship with the eyeball. Some risk factors for the development of either condition include age, smoking, eyelid rubbing, previous eyelid surgery and trauma.
In ectropion, the margin of the eyelid is rotated outward and away from the eye – symptoms are generally related to those experienced in patients who have dry eye disease. Milder forms of ectropion can manifest as well, whereby the lower eyelid is relatively loose, and tearing of the eye is experienced as a result of a lack of normal tension.
In entropion, the margin of the eyelid is rotated inward and toward the eye – symptoms are related to the direct contact of the eyelashes against the cornea and the conjunctiva, and can range in severity from redness and irritation, to discharge, to infection and to permanent loss of vision from scarring.
For both ectropion and entropion, while medical treatments and conservative measures can be used for patients who suffer from these conditions, the only cure is via surgery.